Digital Thread vs Digital Twin

The term “digital twin” gets thrown around casually, but it’s important to recognize the distinction between the different types of digital twins and understand the role of a digital thread.

Digital Thread

A digital thread is the “glue” that holds a digital twin together and allows for communication and interaction between the digital twin components. It is a record of a product or system’s lifetime, from its creation to its removal. Moreover, a digital thread is an enabling technology (for digital twins) that follows designs from their earliest ideation (digital definition, such as CAD) through real-world operation.

Digital Twin

Digital twins are digital representations of real-world entities (sensors, devices, machines, processes, complex systems, and even people/ persons/living beings or entire facilities) deployed to drive business outcomes. Digital twins provide connectivity, metadata management, data management, increasingly advanced analytics, and often integration with business applications and process systems.

To summarize, the difference between a digital twin and a digital thread is that a digital twin serves as a virtual replica of a real-world entity, while a digital thread simply enables digital twin functionality.

Learn more about digital twin applications, benefits, and market drivers in the long-form article, What Is a Digital Twin?

And to check out some of the top digital twin providers, read our blog post, 5 of the Top Digital Twin Companies.

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